What's in a name? Quite a bit really

By Heather McCracken

Last week the list of the top 10 baby names for boys and girls in 2012 were released - Jack and Olivia were number one, as you may recall.

I had a quick look at the top 100 on the website of the Births, Deaths and Marriages, just to see whether my name was perhaps making a come-back. It wasn't.

Of course it's no bad thing to have an uncommon name - as all those Jacks and Olivias will soon find out.

I never had to have another Heather in my classroom, or even in my school - in fact, I went all of my childhood without ever meeting another person named Heather. It wasn't until I moved to Ireland in my 20s that I met anyone who shared my name - and it was a relative.

Some of the names making the top 100 surprised me a little though.

All the Madisons, Madelines, Sophies and Isabelles were predictable enough, but I didn't realise Peyton had become so popular, or Brooklyn so commonly used as a girl's name.

Kate and Pippa both make the list, which perhaps reflects the influence of a certain royal wedding.

It's hard not to see a celebrity influence creeping in too, with names like Khloe, Keira and Harper.

Boy's names are much more straightforward - you have to go fairly well down the list before you get to something you'd have to ask how to spell, though I do feel sorry for the teacher who ends up with Finn, Flynn, Quinn and Phoenix in their class.

Along with Ella, Isabella, Amelia, and Ava, it won't be easy keeping those names straight.

Top 10 girls' names last year (2011 place in brackets):

1 Olivia (2)

2 Sophie (3)

3 Emily (9)

4 Charlotte (5)

5 Ruby (1)

6 Isabella (4)

7 Ella (7)

8 Amelia (10)

9 Sophia (15)

10 Ava (12)

Top 10 boys' names last year (2011 place in brackets):

1 Jack (10)

2 Oliver (3)

3 William (5)

4 Liam (1)

5 Mason (15)

6 Samuel (7)

7 Jacob (11)

8 Lucas (4)

9 Ethan (16)

10 Noah (6)

- Wairarapa Times-Age

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